How to Cook Mayocoba Beans

Mayocoba beans are medium-sized, ivory-colored beans native to South America. Also known as the Peruano, canario, maicoba or Mexican yellow bean, cooked mayocoba beans have a mild flavor and creamy texture that can be used as a substitute for pinto, cannellini or great northern beans in soups, stews, chili, salads or traditional Hispanic dishes. A 1/2-cup serving of the beans is low in fat, cholesterol-free and high in dietary fiber, protein and nutrients like iron. Canned mayocoba beans can contain a high concentration of sodium; cooking your own will allow you to control the sodium content as well as the finished beans' texture.

Step 1

Place the dried mayocoba beans in a colander or strainer. Rinse the beans thoroughly under cool, running water, removing any stones, pieces of debris and discolored or broken beans.

Step 2

Put the beans in a large stockpot. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 2 to 3 inches.

Step 3

Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Allow the bean and water mixture to boil for approximately two minutes.

Step 4

Turn off the heat. Put the stockpot's lid in place and let the beans sit, undisturbed, for two hours.

Step 5

Turn the heat back to high and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the water is at a gentle simmer. Adjust the pot's lid so that it is not completely covering the pot.

Step 6

Use a spoon to remove a few mayocoba beans after 10 to 15 minutes and check them for tenderness. Continue to check the beans every 10 to 15 minutes until they've reached your desired tenderness.

Step 7

Drain the mayocoba beans. Use them or store them after they've cooled.

Things You'll Need

  • Dried mayocoba beans

  • Colander or strainer

  • Large stockpot with a tight-fitting lid

  • Spoon


If you're short on time, you can cook mayocoba beans without pre-soaking them. You can also pre-soak the beans for up to eight to 12 hours to decrease the cooking time, but food writer Mark Bittman cautions that this method may make the finished beans mushy.

Plan on 1 pound, or 2 cups, of dried mayocoba beans yielding 4 to 5 cups of cooked beans.

To store cooked mayocoba beans, spoon them into a plastic container that has a tight-fitting lid and add enough of the cooking water to cover the beans. They will stay good in the refrigerator for up to five days and in the freezer for up to six months.


Eating beans may cause flatulence in some people. Try discarding the soaking water and adding fresh water before cooking the beans, using an over-the-counter enzyme preparation or adding a strip of kombu -- a type of dried kelp -- when you're cooking the beans.

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